Marching band prepares for first game of season


Steven Kinnison

Panther Marching Band rehearses on O’Brien Field Wednesday.

Luis Martinez, Staff Reporter

Eastern’s marching band is gearing up for their first big performance of the year, the first home football game, at 6 p.m. Saturday at O’Brien Field. 

Corey Francis, director of the marching band, said he is ready to go out on the field and lead the band to another successful performance.

 “I’m actually really excited, this is my third year here and we haven’t lost a home game when I’ve been here,” Francis said.

The amount of hard work that both the members of the band and Francis have put into this show began the week before classes started.

Half of the band showed up on Aug. 17, while the other half showed up the following day. From there on out, it was nothing but work the entire week.

During the first week, the practice time ran from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Although they were working hard, the band member had plenty of breaks in between.

Band members had to take extra care during this time because of the heat wave that struck Charleston during that first week.

Francis said the heat really made things complicated that week.

“It was very hot that week of camp, it was very hot that first week of class,” he said. “We had to make sure we were managing water breaks in there.”

Once classes had started, the band member’s thirteen hour workday came to an end, which was soon replace by practices every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 5:50 p.m.

“Because we don’t have a lot of time when the semester starts, the practices become very intensive,” Francis said.

Logan Andrews, a senior drum major, said he was excited to start his final football season.

“I’m super excited this year,” he said. “This is my senior year, my last year in band.”

 Andrews has been apart of the marching band since his freshman year and he believes this performance will leave a lasting impact.

“It’s special because this will be my last first performance I’ll have,” Andrews said.

Francis said the practices the week before the show are much more focused.

“We try to keep every practice the same way,” he said. “But this week everything becomes a little bit more focused because we have to get through all the music for the show.”

Andrews said the marching band is always working hard.

“Practices are very good here, they’re very structured,” Andrews said. “We have a very set process.”

With little problems plaguing the band in the beginning, Andrews said they have been afforded the chance to breathe and relax.

“Things have been going smoothly, so this year we’re a little more laid back but we still work hard to get things done,” he said.

Andrews said the band is working hard to deliver a good show at the upcoming football game against Southern Illinois.

“I’m really excited for these students as well,” Francis added. “They’ve been working hard for this.”

Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]